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English EU Politics USA War

Georgia and Russia: Where Are We?

It’s been a month since the first Georgian attack against the civilian population of South Ossetia. Where are we? Here a brief summary, based on various sources (Il Sole 24 Ore, The Economist, International Herald Tribune / The New York Times, Spiked Online, Il Corriere della Sera, Il Riformista, The Globe and Mail):

  1. Russia: weak and insecure. It “needs” to prove itself otherwise, but then fighting soldiers don’t even have a decent pair of boots. With its strong internal problems, and a strong inferiority complex, it is pretty much isolated, constantly just two steps ahead of a crisis. For how long?
  2. Georgia: maybe a democracy, maybe not. Surely, it is not a solid democracy. There is too much desire for a fight. It is like a “Russia of¬†the Caucasus”: same weakness, same inferiority complex, etc. etc.
  3. The EU: it has done well with its cease-fire diplomacy, only to revert to type and to its abundancy of stupid national interests. The whole is less than the sum of the parts indeed, making it vulnerable and dependent, despite its size and wealth.
  4. The USA: its own dependency on oil has reduced the one and only Superpower to a tired, failed has-been. Too many people in the control rooms still play like in the Cold War, and still think of revenge despite having won twenty years ago.
  5. The Rest of the World: orphans of a serious U.S. policy, they move back and forth waiting to see what the consequences will be.
  6. Several commentators: all involved in the game of historical equivalence. Some say it’s 1968 all over again, some point 1956, others to 1938. I say it’s 1919. In any case, I have read quite a few pernicious, interventionist ideas, in a chaos of ideals without purpose.
Categories
English Politics War

Hypothesis Russia

More details are coming out about the reasons behind the war in South Ossetia between Georgia and Russia. Beyond the rhetoric (here’s a shameful commentary by The New York Times), it appears clear that Saakashvili wanted a fight, but Putin/Medvedev were also fully ready for war.

Anyway I look at it though, I can only think of one way to explain the whole situation…and that involves having one or more Russian agents in the upper echelons of the Tbilisi government.

The Russian victory on all fronts, military, political, diplomatic is so complete, it can only have been carefully prepared for months in the past.

I was kidding when suggesting that Saakashvili be a friend of Russia. Or was I?

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By the way…from Wikipedia, a map of ethnic groups in the Caucasus. Looks like more than one border should be redrawn…

Categories
English Politics War

In Georgia, Game, Set and Match for Russia

Is President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia a Russian agent?

Surely with his still-unexplained decision to move troops into South Ossetia on the day of the Olympics, he’s become the best thing that happened to Russia since the day oil prices started going up. What friend of Putin and Medvedev would ever be able to accomplish such an impressive series of pro-Russian feats:

  • Demonstrating that Russia is the Power in charge in the Caucasus
  • Showing that for all its rhetoric, the USA and NATO have no willingness to help whatever “ally” finds itself in the wrong situation against Russia
  • Restoring Russian pride in its military, with a swift and comprehensive victory, including a seemingly-unstoppable¬†invasion of Tbilisi-controlled Georgia
  • Allowing the Moscow government to bask in diplomatic glory and magnanimity, refusing to bring the conflict to its logical conclusion (the occupation of Tbilisi)

Now that Saakashvili has achieved its aims, perhaps he should just gracefully step down and let a new, pro-Russian government draft a federal constitution for Georgia/Abkhazia/South Ossetia.